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G18: Rangers shut out Mariners, 3-0

WOW! I actually contemplated leaving my commentary at just WOW – but there was a few things to write about, although not much – the game can be boiled down to a few things:

1) Ranger pitching was spectacular. Joaquin Benoit pitched 6 innings, giving up ZERO runs on five hits, including one walk and 5 strikeouts. He had one or two places where he was in a jam, but got out of it very nicely. Jay Powell looked great, and while he technically got the win, it was deserved by Benoit. Jeff Nelson came in and pitched the ninth, and got his first ever save against the Mariners.

2) Freddy Garcia. This did not look like the hard throwing pitcher the Mariners usually trot out there wearing #34. This looked like the guy who normally wears #50 for the Mariners, Jamie Moyer. Garcia was soft tossing, throwing changeups, curves, and didn’t really look like a power pitcher. It pretty much baffled the Rangers until the 8th.

3) Hank Blalock. I’ve always liked this guy, but this year he feels a lot like a team leader, which is good. He gave us the winning run in the 8th with a home run (where has that happened before, Mr. Gagne). Man, that HR felt sweet. Big time sweet.

As much as I loved the win, I felt bad for Freddy Garcia. He pitched awesome as well, and while his line shows three runs earned, two of them came on a double given up by Julio Mateo to Kevin Mench.

It was a glorious game to watch. Going in I felt all kinds of bad things. Benoit pitching. Threat of rain. But we got no rain, we got a great pitcher, and a shutout at the Ballpark! Oh, the Rangers have two shutouts this season. We’re the only AL team to do that. ;)

Line Score
AL  FINAL
1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9     R  H  E
-  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -     -  -  -
SEATTLE             0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0     0  7  0
TEXAS               0  0  0   0  0  0   0  3  x     3  9  1      (FINAL)
BATTERIES: SEA - FREDDY GARCIA, JULIO MATEO (8TH), MIKE MYERS (8TH) AND
DAN WILSON, BEN DAVIS (8TH)
TEX - JOAQUIN BENOIT, JAY POWELL (7TH), JEFF NELSON (9TH) AND
GERALD LAIRD
WP - JAY POWELL (1-0)
LP - FREDDY GARCIA (0-1)
SAVE - JEFF NELSON (1)
HOME RUNS: SEA - NONE
TEX - HANK BLALOCK (4) OFF FREDDY GARCIA IN THE 8TH, 0 ON
TIME: 2:30     ATT: 28,479
PROBABLES: SEA - RYAN FRANKLIN (1-0, 3.15)
TEX - JOHN WASDIN (NR)
Box Score
SEATTLE (0) VS TEXAS (3) - FINAL
SEATTLE                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
I Suzuki rf             4  0  1  0   0  1   1  .291
S Spiezio 3b            4  0  1  0   0  2   3  .353
B Boone 2b              4  0  0  0   0  0   1  .237
E Martinez dh           4  0  2  0   0  1   0  .288
J Olerud 1b             3  0  0  0   1  0   2  .218
R Aurilia ss            4  0  1  0   0  1   2  .246
R Winn cf               3  0  0  0   0  1   2  .194
D Wilson c              3  0  2  0   0  0   0  .326
W Bloomquist pr        0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .265
B Davis c              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .056
Q McCracken lf          3  0  0  0   0  1   2  .222
Totals                 32  0  7  0   1  7  13
BATTING: Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - S Spiezio 2, R Winn 1.
GIDP - R Aurilia, B Boone. Team LOB - 6.
BASERUNNING: SB - Q McCracken (1, 2nd base off J Powell/G Laird).
TEXAS                  ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
M Young ss              4  0  0  0   0  0   1  .380
H Blalock 3b            4  1  1  1   0  0   0  .320
A Soriano 2b            4  0  1  0   0  0   0  .338
B Fullmer dh            3  1  1  0   1  0   1  .267
D Dellucci lf           4  1  2  0   0  1   1  .326
K Mench rf              4  0  1  2   0  0   1  .250
L Nix cf                4  0  3  0   0  0   1  .333
G Laird c               3  0  0  0   0  1   3  .356
A Gonzalez 1b           3  0  0  0   0  1   2  .238
Totals                 33  3  9  3   1  3  10
BATTING: 2B - D Dellucci (2, F Garcia); L Nix (5, F Garcia); K Mench (6,
J Mateo). HR - H Blalock (4, 8th inning off F Garcia 0 on, 1 Out). RBI -
H Blalock (15), K Mench 2 (9). 2-out RBI - K Mench 2. Runners left in scoring
position, 2 out - K Mench 1, A Gonzalez 1, L Nix 1. Team LOB - 7.
FIELDING: E - G Laird (2, throw). DP: 2 (M Young-A Soriano-A Gonzalez,
J Benoit-A Soriano-A Gonzalez).
----------------------------------------------------
SEATTLE         - 000 000 000   --   0
TEXAS           - 000 000 03x   --   3
----------------------------------------------------
SEATTLE                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
F Garcia (L, 0-1)             7 2/3   8   3   3   1   3   1   2.60
J Mateo                       0       1   0   0   0   0   0   2.00
M Myers                         1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   6.75
TEXAS                        ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Benoit                      6       5   0   0   1   5   0   4.22
J Powell (W, 1-0)             2       1   0   0   0   1   0   2.16
J Nelson (S, 1)               1       1   0   0   0   1   0   3.52
J Mateo pitched to 1 batter in the 8th.
WP - F Garcia. Pitches-strikes: F Garcia 108-65; J Mateo 3-1; M Myers 3-2;
J Benoit 96-57; J Powell 27-18; J Nelson 16-12. Ground balls-fly balls:
F Garcia 13-7; J Mateo 0-0; M Myers 1-0; J Benoit 9-4; J Powell 3-2;
J Nelson 1-1. Batters faced: F Garcia 32; J Mateo 1; M Myers 1; J Benoit 22;
J Powell 7; J Nelson 4.
UMPIRES: HP--Bruce Froemming. 1B--Mike Winters. 2B--Hunter Wendelstedt.
3B--Tim Timmons.
T--2:30. Att--28,479.
Weather: 63 degrees, cloudy. Wind: 3 mph, in from right.